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The Nominalist Method of Determining What Is

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posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 07:30 PM
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Much to my chagrin, there are very few nominalists in the world anymore, and because of this, deep conversation is a mine-field for anyone who cares about reality. Yet we keep sauntering through in no particular direction, quite unsure of where to step next, but quite sure that it is only a matter of time before we are cleaning our boots after stepping in someone's newest turd.

Those who routinely push (or even relieve oneself of) the abstract and universal into our discourse, thereby obfuscating any sort of consistency, immediately hinder any sort of mutual dialogue in favor of their own nugatory trifles. Perhaps it is innocent, but in my eyes such realism and platonism (more philosophical jargon for those who care) is at best nothing short of mere linguistic convenience for a lazy species, and at worst, the favoring of things that do not exist over things that do.

A scenario: You're listening to someone pontificate about their philosophy—as you are wont to do—and they continually posit nothings as both purposes and answers to the universe's riddles. Their answers, as usual, feel pleasant to our human sensibilities, but alas, consist of nothing more than mere words, a sure sign a form of circular reasoning is at work behind the scenes. Maybe it's "love" or "consciousness" or "God" or "the soul," they speak of in usually seductive ways (the only way to acquire followers), but for the most part, they refuse to mention anything concrete in the off-chance that you may, as a sovereign individual, want to confirm for yourself.

This is easily avoidable. If you are not yet lulled to sleep by their soporific speech, and as usual, your caution convinces you to sleep suspiciously with one eye open, try this simple trick to dispel the fluff and see what, if anything, they are actually talking about.

Imagine a string tied between the word and what the word is supposed to be about. If the string, however long it may be, can be tied from the word to what its about, then we are speaking about reality. If, however, the word sits ashamed in the corner with the string dangling timidly to nothing, then nothing is exactly what they are talking about. If the string is tied to nothing, then it can be reasonably assumed that they have not witnessed, perceived, understood, examined, viewed or beheld any such thing, and what they are in fact speaking about is something different entirely.

Thank you for reading,

LesMis




posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 07:54 PM
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What is anything on these boards but mere words? Even your post here is nothing but mere words, devoid of any true meaning except to see others views that are not your own as meaningless and not worth considering.

What is the point of this post other than to talk down about someone else's worldview? If it is not your own, you see it as "meaningless". Well, your view is not my view and using your reasoning this thread is meaningless as well.

You talk a lot of big words but end up saying a whole lot of nothing. Your wordsmith is an exercise in pontificating. If someone disagrees with you, you see their thoughts as meaningless. Pompous much?



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 08:12 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

I too found it a bit on the pretentious side but, hey this is ATS right? Who the hell isn't pretentious around here?

So, I read through on nominalism not having investigated it before. Plato is, of course, usually full of boloney but, I like an hypothetical all the same.

It seems that what bothers you about the 'God is Love'/'Aliens Will Unite Us' crowd is the fact that "we" or "us" is not a thing. I agree with this and it is in fact a fundamental basic truth which is lost on most people.

We hear about the benefits to "society" and, similarly, there is great anticipation of some sort of inter-conscious epiphanal singularity.

Well, tough titties folks, it turns out that we have to do the work, read the texts, fail a lot and that just gives us the opportunity to understand. It does not grant us understanding.

In truth we are a group of individuals and form no super-voltron mega-human righteousness-possessing entity.



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 08:17 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Please don't take this to be argumentative, it is a sincere questioning...

Have you never loved a child so much that 'your' heart ached for 'their' pain?

How do you tie a string around that feeling?

Sure, you could tie a string around the child, but a child is not a feeling...

Are feelings nonexistent because no one else can perceive them?



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 08:35 PM
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Here is one of those meaningless abstractions for you that I find conveys much meaning and has been repeated in one way or another by every great thinker I have ever known.

The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know.



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 08:45 PM
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You said:

"Imagine a string tied between the word and what the word is supposed to be about. If the string, however long it may be, can be tied from the word to what its about, then we are speaking about reality."

The problem with your argument (logic?) here is you would both have to agree if your individual concepts of "reality" jibed. If they didn't, you both had strings that lead nowhere.



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 08:50 PM
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a reply to: Aliensun

A string cannot be attached to a word anyways, it's an abstract concept within itself. The logic of the argument is flawed from its inception.



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 09:17 PM
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a reply to: 3NL1GHT3N3D1

You can tie a string to a word. You can also tie a string to what speaks, hear's and understands them. Your worldview is flawed.



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 09:18 PM
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a reply to: Aliensun

Not really. I am speaking about all sorts of things.



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 09:20 PM
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a reply to: lostgirl

Tie a string between you and the child. That is the reality. What you see and what you feel are at the ends of that string.



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 09:55 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Tie a string to this "word".

If my worldview is flawed, that just gives me a reason to buff out those flaws, it gives me a reason to push forward toward truth. I have no problem admitting that I don't know everything and when I'm wrong, I'm not so sure you can say the same about yourself. Your words ooze arrogance and a "holier than thou" attitude. Out of the many threads and posts of yours that I have read, I have yet to see you admit anything you say is wrong. Maybe I've missed those posts, but so far I have yet to see them.
edit on 2/17/2015 by 3NL1GHT3N3D1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 10:27 PM
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originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
a reply to: lostgirl

Tie a string between you and the child. That is the reality. What you see and what you feel are at the ends of that string.

No, it seems to me with your suggestion, that tied to the ends of the string are the 'cause' of the feelings (the child) and the one who 'feels' them (me), the feelings themselves are inside, weighing around and thru the region of my heart, and despite the very real physical 'sensation' of them, despite the absolute reality of those feelings - they cannot be tied to a string,,,

At any rate, I can't tie a string between myself and the child - she is passed away; yet my heart (full with love for her) aches with the sorrow and pain she felt in knowing she would be 'leaving' her loved ones...my tears fell with empathy for her tears as she said her goodbyes...

...And now sometime later, she comes to mind, and my heart (with fully 'physical' sensation) swells with love for her, then aches for her pain over having to 'leave', then sorrows for the loss of this beautiful, bubbly little sunshine baby...


Keep in mind, this child was no relation to me - her family moved into our neighborhood and inexplicably, we developed a deeply emotional, loving 'connection'...


I'm sorry, but surely you are 'realistic' enough to admit that your 'string' analogy falls far short in the face of a scenario such as I have described?



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 12:29 AM
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Nominalism is a metaphysical view in philosophy according to which general or abstract terms and predicates exist, while universals or abstract objects, which are sometimes thought to correspond to these terms, do not exist.
www.google.co.uk...=nominalism+definition
Terms exist but objects don't.
Words arise but there are no things.



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 12:42 AM
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a reply to: 3NL1GHT3N3D1




Your words ooze arrogance and a "holier than thou" attitude.


It takes a certain amount of arrogance and a holier than thou attitude to point this out.

Beware, friend, of attempting to slander those who you have never met. There is no string between you and I, and who you are actually attempting to speak about becomes painfully clear. How I exist in your imagination in more a reflection of you than it is of me, since all you have captured and experienced of myself is very little.



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 12:45 AM
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a reply to: lostgirl

You and I both know you are dealing with your own memories, your own loss, your own body. No string is necessary.



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 12:45 AM
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originally posted by: LesMisanthrope


Imagine a string tied between the word and what the word is supposed to be about. If the string, however long it may be, can be tied from the word to what its about, then we are speaking about reality. If, however, the word sits ashamed in the corner with the string dangling timidly to nothing, then nothing is exactly what they are talking about. If the string is tied to nothing, then it can be reasonably assumed that they have not witnessed, perceived, understood, examined, viewed or beheld any such thing, and what they are in fact speaking about is something different entirely.



I don't know... perhaps I have not grasped completely the idea being expressed here, perhaps I am not aware of what specific kinds of topics you are responding to/about.

But I find myself asking- what about the possibility that we cannot attach the other end of the string at this time simply because our conscious knowledge and technology has not advanced far enough yet?

I mean, the example of "feelings" has been brought up- at one time, we could not point at physical existence of sadness... so could possibly say it doesn't exist. Now, we can attach it to specific chemicals being secreted by the body and flowing through it, so now sadness exists as a real thing. It is a physiological part of reality.

Isn't it realistic, then, to acknowledge experiences as possibly real, even if, at this time, we haven't the physical proof of them? To admit they might not be nothing?


But then on the other hand, I keep coming back to- who cares if they are nothing or something, experience is - it still influences the consciousness, shapes it, and that consciousness acts and makes choices in the physical world. So even non-things have an impact on things, indirectly.
edit on 18-2-2015 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 12:48 AM
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a reply to: Itisnowagain

Yes terms exist. Abstract objects and universals do not. You should then question what abstract objects and universals are, and come to a conclusion before believing something outright. Sorry but, abstract objects are not objects or things, they are simply terms.



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 12:50 AM
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My online dictionary got tired half way though



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 12:52 AM
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a reply to: Bluesma

I agree.

But then if we were to continue with the method, we tie a string from the word "experience" to what? What lies at the end of the string is what we are actually talking about when we use that word.

What would you tie it to?



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 12:53 AM
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a reply to: glend

But your vocabulary is that much grateful for it. Thank you for trying.




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